Evidenced by the resumes and nominations I reviewed for this year's "30 Under 35," the Wenatchee Valley's future is in good hands.
This special edition of The Business World recognizes young professionals who were selected for recognition by their employers and peers. Among them are dancers, lawyers, healthcare professionals, community advocates, business owners/managers, accountants and farmers.
They are each good at what they do and...more important...how they do it. They are people of character who want to make their communities better.
As a relative newcomer to this beautiful valley, I see evidence of good community stewardship all around me. In fact, I walk to work along the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail several mornings each week and it is simply one of the coolest features you will find in any small community anywhere in the country.
Those things don't happen by themselves. It takes vision, dedication, cooperation and perseverance, or willingness to push through the naysayers who say it can't be done.
In other words, it takes leadership.
My 40-plus years in this business have have allowed me to work with hundreds of leaders in communities much like this one. I can't count the number of boards, or service clubs, or business groups I've been fortunate to work with, but it seemed there was always a core group of people who were at the center of every key community initiative.
Most of those community leaders worked and were busy raising families, yet somehow found the time to contribute to a better tomorrow.
I'm fortunate, in fact, to occupy an office that belonged to the late Wilfred "Wilf" Woods. He passed away in early 2017 at 97 years old, having spent most of those nine-plus decades bettering the lives of others.
Wilf served on more boards and was associated with more non-profits than I can count. He was just as passionate about the area's economic prosperity as he was in preserving its natural wonder. His legacy stands in places like the Wenatchee Performing Arts Center and Wenatchee Valley College Music and Arts Center building.
These 30 young people — and from where I sit, 35 is very young — have already left an impression. The purpose of this effort is to encourage them to do even more; to reach for even greater heights; to donate their tremendous and varied talents to helping to shape and...in some cases reshape...this area we call home.
There are challenges and opportunities ahead, but we are so fortunate to have so much talent ready and willing to meet that future.